tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN April 21, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
resigned over the prostitution scandal. we know more about some of the men. and george zimmerman walking on bail. and he spoke out today. we speak to one of his friends and it's 4/20 somewhere. let's go "outfront." well, good evening, i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, we have breaking news. cnn just learning that three more secret service agents have resigned tonight in the wake of a prost cushion scandal that rocked the agency. now, the secret service announced an additional employee is under investigation. this employee on administrative leave tonight. the total, six secret service members have lost their jobs because of allegations they brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in cartegena, colombia, while on official business with the president of the united states. we are learning that the number of military members under investigation has grown from ten
to 11. it's all branches here. six from the army. two from the marine corps. two from the navy and one from the air force. just a short time ago, we learned that the embattled director of the secret service mark sullivan actually briefed the president today in person on his investigation. which overall is expanding to include interviews with every secret service member on the trip, hotel staff, and the alleged prostitutes. we'll include a look at what happened in the hilton hotel where agents stayed during the trip in addition to the el caribe which is where the secret service agents allegedly lee yased with the prostitutes. new details about the two secret service supervisors who have been identified in the case. both left the agency earlier this week. we want to tell you what we know. david chaney bragged on his facebook page about protecting sarah palin during the 2008 campaign. and in a photo posted in january
2009, chaney is standing behind palin wearing dark glasses and it appears a wedding ring. he said i was checking her out if you know what i mean. he's the son of a former secret service. he's married and has an adopted son according to his posting on reunion.com. he was on the vice presidential detail for al gore and dick cheney. now, greg stokes has been identified in the case. he supervised the k-9 training unit outside of washington. court documents indicate greg stokes was involved in a divorce case from 2003 to 2005. his former wife was also a secret service employee. well the question tonight is how many more heads will roll at the secret service? and will the white house be able to remain above the fray? fran townsend is our national security contributor. she has been reporting on this case, and fran, good to see you tonight.
what are your sources telling you about the latest developments tonight? >> well, erin, we both identified one additional service -- secret service member from the cartegena trip who's been implicated and one has been cleared. one has been cleared of misconduct and he's going to face administrative process. you know, it's interesting, i think what you take from that, they're being very aggressive. the sort of things you'd want to know, you'd want to be confident about. and today that director sullivan was received in the oval office and briefed the president of the united states on the conduct of the investigation. that meeting is important for two reasons. one, it signals that he has confidence in sullivan and two it's important for morale. erin, there are lots of men and women who serve in the secret service honorably and well with courage and they need to know that they're still respected by the president and the receiving of director sullivan is just the kind of signal they were looking for. >> are you surprised, fran, i
mean, as far as we know at cnn this is the first meeting between director sullivan and the president. are you surprised it took this long? >> i am, erin, because, you know, these are people who are really very much in the president's space every hour of every day. and they protect him and his family. there's constant interaction between the president and the head of his personal detail. and so i am a little surprised. although i expect the kinds of things you don't see or not reported is sort of interaction the president would have had with his personal detail getting them en -- giving them encouragement and support. i do think it's important that this took place. i think it's important. >> and do you expect the president to continue to try to keep his distance from the case? i think you raised an interesting point. part of the reason he wants to do is because of relationships he has with the personal detail and i think they're rather personal. >> that's right. the president can get briefed by
director sullivan on the status of the investigation, what personnel actions have been taken without getting immersed in the actual details of the case against each person. you don't want the president down at that level of detail. but he doesn't have to be to meet with director sullivan and get briefed. >> fran, one thing that, you know, there are a lot of people that serve in all of these institutions. so to your point, the vast majority of them incredibly professional and probably, you know, embarrassed and humiliated by what they're hearing a few of their colleagues did. but yet when we look at what happened in the military, army, marine corps, u.s. air force, secret service, i mean, that's a little scary, isn't it, that -- i mean, it wasn't like the guys were so embarrassed they kept it in a little club. this is pretty prod. >> you're right. the interesting thing about the army unit implicated this is what is called their area of responsibility.
so at least as far as the army members go, they had been in cartegena, they had trained there before. they're familiar with the surroundings. one wonders if because -- remember what we know of the facts here, the secret service agents weren't on the ground less than 12 hours before they were out in this bar and they had found these prostitutes. one has to wonder somebody had to be pretty familiar with cartegena and where you can procure the services. we know that army unit was in the area of responsibility. >> so do you think it's going to turn out that a lot of these guys, secret service, army, that ended up being friends across lines or just that it was such a sort of a clubby atmosphere people felt they could do and do this with something you don't know? somebody says, let's go hang out with prostitutes, you don't know, you'd turn the guy in. >> that's right.
we have heard reports of the wheels parties. i think what you find when you travel with the president, there's an advance team that goes in. there are folks -- it's very intense when the president is on the ground. the president leaves and these people are in a tight environment. they only have each other to socialize with. so, you know, there's this sense of camaraderie that builds up. so there is a relationship of trust across branches of service between everybody. the white house staff, the press and the military and secret service. >> that's true. on the planes, we have to sit very closely together in the back. all right. fran, thank you very much. appreciate it. a new development in one of the most famous disappearances in history. police a step closer today to finding the original child that appeared on the side of a milk carton. and two airlines about to merge? will the deal get done? and the ultimate high holiday today. it is sort of a religious thing for some people and we checked out the numbers.
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searching the basement of a carpenter when he disappeared in 1979. today his lawyer says he denies any involvement in the disappearance, but after 35 -- but after 33 years, eton's parents still live in the same apartment. they didn't change their phone number, didn't move, didn't give up hope about their boy. etan who was 6 disappeared in the morning after leaving his parent's apartment on prince street. it's been a catalyst in the search for missing children. he transformed it in this country. he was one of the first faces to appear on the side of a milk carton. erin runnion is no stranger to this tragedy. her daughter was brutally murdered about 24 hours after she disappeared playing on her bike right outside her home in her small neighborhood. earlier i asked erin about never losing hope. >> in the years since samantha's abduction, i have come to know a lot of families of children who
have been missing for a long time. and many of them keep the child's room the same 20 years later and they don't move because if there is -- i know colleen nick keeps the porch light on for morgan in case some day she comes home and it's been 17 years for her. so you never lose hope. >> we were talking last night with a woman who covered this story for decades, written a book about it and said the family's gotten used to these sort of false hopes and don't want to get their hopes up this time. what do you think that feels like? i know your situation was resolved in a horrific way rather quickly. but do you think that they still get that hope or that feeling in their stomach every time when there's a call? >> well, i think that this sounds like one of the most promising leads that they've had in a very long time. but i do know, again, i don't know the patz family personally, but i know lots of other families. and every time a lead comes in,
you can't help but -- your stomach, you know, is in a bind and you're anxious and waiting and you're cautiously optimistic every time. and i can only imagine what that does over 30 years' time. >> you had the -- you had to look at the man who killed your daughter. and look at him in the face. do you think this -- etan's parents at this point would want to be able to do that? was that something that you are -- glad is not the right word -- but that you are -- you're glad happened? >> it was important. important. >> yeah? >> absolutely. and i'm sure that every interview i've seen with mr. patz, for sure, they would want that. the victim impact statement that you get to make after the culmination of the trial, it's important for victims' families and surviving family members to be able to voice and tell the perpetrator what they did, what
they did and how it will never end for the surviving family members. so i do -- i hope and pray they get that day in court. >> you had that day and then you also have gone on to make this a cause, the joyful child foundation. you also when samantha died, you forced the state of california to begin the amber alert program. so you've been a part of making a difference to try to help families find their children, to help these stories end in happier ways. but how much further do we have to go? because we do still hear about these stories much more often than we should. >> absolutely. you know, we have a long way to go. we've made great progress in the 30 plus years. you know, back -- believe it or not 30 plus years ago the rate of childhood abductions was about the same, 58,000 non-family related abductions every year and about 115 of those cases are cases like ours where it's a complete stranger and the child is not recovered alive. but the difference is, for the last ten years since the
initiation of the amber alert nationwide and increased awareness in communities, the recovery rate of those children has been consistently over 90% whereas 30 plus years ago it was actually under 70%. so we are making strides, but what we need to do is really focus on the children and that's why i called our foundation the joyful child because ultimately that's what we want to preserve. that's what we want to protect is the joy of our children and their right to a joyful childhood. and i think so often we focus on reactive measures rather than being proactive. as parents, you know, it's a topic we don't want to think about. we don't want to believe that it's possible. but by doing that we actually leave our children more vulnerable to predators. and not safer. so coming up with proactively with safety plans, role-playing, what could you do this happened? if you were in this situation, you were lost, you couldn't find me, where could you go. all of those sorts of things. basic safety education has to become more ingrained and part of our public education system frankly.
so three major unions in american airlines say they'd support a potential merger with u.s. airways. u.s. airways hasn't officially made an offer for american. but getting union support is crucial. you can't do a deal without it, so this matters. american airlines' parent company amr filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in november. and in a letter to employees, u.s. airways ceo doug parker said we've got a possible merger with american and said, "it would be a unique opportunity we should not ignore. and that brings me to our number tonight. one. that's the number of times he's used the phrase unique opportunity. it was when american airlines tried to acquire delta. in a letter to the delta ceo, mr. parker wrote, this is a unique opportunity to create an airline that is an even better position to thrive long into the future.
delta airlines was is in the position that american airlines is now. delta got itself out of bankruptcy, acquired northwest airlines, american meantime has rebuffed merger talks for now. but an analyst we spoke to today says american ultimately will do the deal. all those frequent fliers out there, what do you think? american/u.s. airways? do you love it or loathe it? going to bag your miles and move over to delta or united. still outfront. is it time to legalize it? we crunched the numbers and actually pretty incredible what we found when you look at the cost of enforcing a marijuana ban. and thousands gather to protest military rule in egypt today. we're going to go live to tahrir square. everything that i've gained in life
has been because of the teachers and the education that i had. they're just part of who i am. she convinced me that there was no limit to what we could learn. i don't think i'd be here today had i not had a wonderful science teacher. a teacher can make a huge difference in a child's life. he would never give up on any of us. thank you dr. newfield. you had a big impact on me. >> announcer: this is the day. the day that we say to the world of identity thieves "enough." we're lifelock, and we believe you have the right to live free
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so it's 21 minutes past the hour on 4/20, so some of are already leaning back, lighting up. where's my pot glasses? i forgot them today. i forgot my glasses. marijuana use is illegal in most states. 16 states allow medical marijuana use. studies show that the relaxing laws could mean big money for the government. so here's some of the numbers. nationwide $7.7 billion a year to enforce the prohibition of marijuana. which includes police on the streets, court costs, putting convicted users and sellers in jail. state and federal governments could rake in $2 billion to $6 billion a year if it was legal and taxable according to analysis by a harvard professor.
this means state governments alone are looking at as much as $14 billion a year if pot were legal. reihan salam is here. michael, the head speech writer under president clinton, who didn't inhale. >> did not inhale. >> well, so, i mean -- i'm sorry. sometimes things come straight from my brain to my mouth. but we are talking about real money here. why not start -- we have obviously 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana. so why not? >> you know, it's a really interesting question. i think there's no question that with demographic changes that the country is evolving in this direction. and a lot of people are concerned about the social costs of having a big liquor company or tobacco company pushing a new narcotic. so there are massive social costs to the war on drugs as it's been fought especially when it comes to racial issues. in new york city, an
african-american man is seven times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white man the same age even though public health authorities will tell us the rate of marijuana use is higher among whites. it is -- there's a cost in prisons, in lifetime felony convictions that is even greater in some ways than what the statistics were. >> reihan, 50% of americans now say they favor legalization of marijuana, which i believe is a record high. you said even if we wanted to, i think michael was going towards, it wouldn't work. >> i think decriminalization is a reasonable way to go forward. but i think the problem is, i think what we really need is legalization without commercialization. i think that's part of what michael was getting at before. when you commercialize the consumption of marijuana, you're likely to see a dramatic increase in consumption. no matter what we do if we decriminalize, it's going to become more widely available. and that's not in itself a disaster. >> do you know -- i don't know
anybody that wants to smoke pot or thinks about it who doesn't do it because of the law. >> it would get radically cheaper. cocaine despite prohibition has become dramatically cheaper over the last ten years and consumption has gone up as a result. i do think that michael is absolutely right. people should not be going to jail. it's incredibly costly and also the human cost for those families is incredibly high. but i am concerned that if it becomes exactly the kind of thing that we market aggressively that would have ugly consequences, as well. it's all about threading the needle. >> might make some people angry, but i would think that most people would agree you don't want people doing it all the time. that's not -- >> doing any drug, narcotic -- >> whether you want to say it's addictive or not. >> i think it's better than alcohol in a lot of ways -- >> interesting. >> one strategy i would say is let's get rid of the minimum drinking age. that's an issue i would love to see because younger people learn how to use alcohol. but i do think there's a real double standard -- >> instead of binge drinking when they get to college --
>> there's a huge double standard of marijuana versus alcohol that i think is very, very foolish. >> interesting point. >> with the 21-year-old drinking age, you have an entire generation of learning to disrespect the law and that's a problem in and of itself. >> true. >> you probably had a fake i.d. in college, right? >> you know, it was a different era. >> he won't even admit it. >> no. >> he wouldn't walk into that one. i had a sister that looked a lot like me. we'll leave it at that. thanks to both of you. i appreciate it. still "outfront," zimmerman released. >> zimmerman makes this self-serving apology in court. >> i am sorry for the loss of your son. >> why today? deadly crash. >> severe thunderstorms could have been a factor. more than 120 people all of them feared dead. >> all this "outfront" in our second half. i have hemorrhoids and yes, i have constipation.
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we start the second half of our show with stories we care about. where we focus on our own reporting. do the work and find the "outfront five." first tonight, breaking news on the secret service. we have learned tonight three more secret service agents have resigned in the wake of the prostitution scandal. a total of six secret service members now losing their jobs because of allegations they brought prostitutes back to their rooms while on assignment with the president. we're also learning that the number of military service members under investigation is now 11. additional person was put under
investigation today. six from the army, two of the marine corps, two the navy, and one from the u.s. air force. number two, a disturbing story out of india. a 26-year-old bollywood actress kidnapped and beheaded by two other actors. she was kidnapped by a man and his girlfriend after hearing her brag about her family's wealth. the two tried to extort the equivalent of $28,000 from her family and when she only gave them $1,000, they killed her. the couple was caught with the sim card from her cell phone and confessed to the absolutely horrific murder. number three, we're continuing to follow the story of the mysterious death of neil haywood, forced out of his top communist party job, his wife arrested in connection with his -- with mr. haywood's death. stan grant got an inside look at the chinese hotel where heywood died in the hotel room. there was exposed wiring on the lamp and dead bugs but almost fittingly the art on the wall is a puzzle.
a nearby villa is filled with drab furniture and dirty walls. there's still a heavy police presence as investigators continue to work on the case of what happened the night he died and whether poison was forced down his throat. number four, french presidential candidates making their final pitch ahead of sunday's election, there are ten running. it's the first round of votes that's going to help narrow the field down, but it's important to note here that socialist candidate holland is leading. current president nicholas sarkozy in the polls, the general election is in june. the big issue there, same as here, the economy. france has a 10% unemployment rate. well, it has been 260 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating, what are we doing to get it back? today a decent day for stocks, trying to help, dow and s&p higher, nasdaq lower thanks to apple which actually closed down about 2.5%. well, we have new developments tonight in the death of trayvon martin. george zimmerman who, of course, says he shot and killed the florida teen in self-defense, that was back in february.
he is going to be released on a $150,000 bond. in a surprising move, zimmerman took the stand today during a bond hearing and apologized to the family of trayvon martin. >> i wanted to say i am sorry for the loss of your son. i did not know how old he was. i thought he was a little bit younger than i am. and i did not know if he was armed or not. >> ben crump an attorney for martin's family says they were devastated by the news of the bail and questioned the timing of the apology you just heard from george zimmerman. >> why today? when he made all those statements to the police, why not show remorse there? if he was sincerely apologetic for killing this unarmed child? >> we're going to hear from a friend of george zimmerman's in a moment about why he said that. but his wife and parents testified on his behalf today saying he wasn't a flight risk nor a danger to the community.
he is likely to remain in jail for a few more days. he'll be wearing an electronic monitor when he's released. he'll have to check in every three days. paul callan is a former homicide prosecutor and a legal analyst. paul, let me start with you. hearing george zimmerman speak today the first time america has heard his voice. how unusual is it for the defendant to take the stand in a bond hearing? >> i can't emphasize enough how highly unusual this is. i've been doing cases for over 25 years and a lot of murder cases in that time, never ever seen the defendant take the stand at this stage. sometimes they take the stand at trial. and to show you why it's so dangerous. in the brief testimony he said a couple of things that may come back to haunt him. he said -- he made a mistake about how old trayvon martin was and most importantly he said i didn't know if he was armed or not. now, he'd be much better off at trial saying i thought he was armed, he might have been armed, but now he's saying i didn't know. so i think it's dangerous to put him on the stand.
but o'mara was trying to humanize him and i think he did succeed in that. got some good press. >> you would have thought, janet, given what paul said about opening yourself up, wouldn't o'mara have gone through what to say? what not to say. i understand he could've made a mistake off script. but those seem like basic things not to say this early. >> well, i disagree a little bit because the family's been asking for an apology and he actually tried to meet with the family yesterday. they did not want to meet with him. so i think this was the first forum he had to do it. but the mistake saying i thought he was a little younger than i am and on the 911, he says late teens. that's a significant slip. but i think what he actually said was he didn't know, you know, that he wasn't armed. and at this point, it turns out he wasn't armed. obviously that was a mistake. and i think that's what he was trying to say. i thought he was armed and that's what stand your ground allowed me to do. that he was armed and was maybe going to kill me. >> the state prosecutor said that the evidence we heard today
was not consistent with zimmerman's account. so i want to hear what he said under cross-examination from o'mara today. >> do you have any evidence to contradict or that conflicts with his contention given before he knew any of the evidence that would conflict with the fact that he stated i walked back to my car? walked towards the car? >> no. >> any evidence that conflicts any eyewitnesss, anything that conflicts with the contention that mr. martin assaulted first? >> as to who threw the first blow? no. >> well, is that a problem? >> oh, this is a major problem for the prosecution. >> this is huge. >> it's absolutely huge. because if trayvon martin started it. if he was the initial aggressor, then self-defense may be appropriate. we still have to see what the facts are. but what's really unusual here
is he calls a police witness the one witness who was involved in the probable cause affidavit, that affidavit that everyone's been critical of and he basically tears him apart and shows there's no basis for some of the conclusions that were in the affidavit. so i think he really, really damaged the prosecutor's case in this little bit of cross-examination. >> and janet, this does appear to go to the heart of everything when people have conversation. well, if george zimmerman started this, he does not have a defense. but if they're not clear on that at this point, it does seem that it would really hurt the prosecution. >> oh, it's devastating because preponderance of the evidence is the first standard that's going to be applied. and if a judge thinks it's more likely than not that it was martin that started this altercation, then the whole thing's going to be thrown out. and right now on record, the detective says we have nothing that contradicts it. and that detective, by the way, wasn't subpoenaed by mr. o'mara, he happened to be there at the -- at angela corey's request, so it's a huge coup for mark o'mara. >> he said he wasn't ready to testify. >> he wasn't ready to testify.
and we find out the woman friend of trayvon martin was interviewed for the first time five weeks post incident. so there are a lot of real questions that get raised in this bond hearing and they were developed today. >> now, as i indicated, the zimmerman family testified. his wife testified and defended him standing by him as well as his parents. his father -- since we showed this video to you. i know a lot of viewers may remember the surveillance video, the original surveillance video. paul, you and i were talking about it that night. a lot of people said, well, did george zimmerman look like he was injured? obviously he'd been to a medic at that point. it was hard to tell what it meant. but zimmerman's father talked about the injuries his son sustained today and here's what he said. >> what did george's head look like when you saw him the day after? >> well, his face was swollen quite a bit. he had a protective cover over his nose. his lip was swollen and cut. and there were two vertical
gashes on the back of his head. >> now, paul, we didn't see that in the video, but that video was hard to see. so i don't want to imply that's where you can get the be all and end all answer. but what do you make of this? >> you know the video we saw when he was handcuffed going into the precinct didn't show a lot, but he had been treated, of course, at the scene and so it's possible that the stuff was apparent later on. this is important because if his nose was broken and he had gashes in the back of his head, that corroborates his story that he was rather viciously attacked. so but i want to see medical records. why aren't we seeing medical records? the father's testimony, of course, the father's going to be on his side. >> and it seems this is easy to figure out an answer to. there are medical records. >> right. right. and apparently there's a question about whether the defense has them and angela corey hasn't actually subpoenaed them. but they don't need to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, the
defense. they need some evidence. and here's the father saying i saw it. if they can't contradict it, that again, it was a bad day for angela corey, they have nothing to contradict that as far as we can tell. >> all right. well, thanks very much to both of you. we appreciate it. well, we wanted to know more about what george zimmerman's demeanor might reveal about the state of his mind. you like all of us were probably watching him intently to figure out what his face showed and his body weight and everything else. so we bring in patty wood now a language expert. i want to show again the video of george zimmerman when he walked into the court. he's got that kind of looks like rope here around his arms and his waist. he's handcuffed. what do you see here about -- what does this tell you about this man? >> well, i think it's important to realize that under stress, arms want to come up to fight or defend, so when you restrain arms with handcuffs, it makes you feel more vulnerable, so it
brings up anger and fear more strongly. when we're seeing some of the posture that imperious posture with his chin jutted forward which to me shows anger. there is something underneath that also causes that. >> after he apologized to the martin family and we had just played that for our viewers a couple of moments ago, the prosecutor then interrogated him. i wanted to play a little bit of that because i know there's something in there you heard or saw you wanted to talk about. here it is. >> after you committed this crime and you spoke to the police, did you ever make that statement to the police, sir? >> n -- >> that you were sorry for what you'd done or their loss? >> no, sir. >> you never stated that, did you? >> i don't remember what i said. i believe i said that. >> you told that to the police? >> in one of the statements i said i felt sorry for the family. >> you did? >> yes, sir. >> so that would be recorded? because all of those conversations were recorded, right? >> yes, sir. >> what do you see or hear there, patty. >> well, under this line of questioning, you see quite a few
micro facial cues. i went through it with stop motion, as well. you see asymmetrical cues grimaces on the side of his face, glaring, the eyes coming down in focus toward the prosecutor, as well. so though he seems on the surface very pulled together and restrained, underneath there was a lot of anger responses to that prosecutor's line of questioning. >> george zimmerman's father called in to give testimony. we played that when he talked about the gashes on the back of his son's head. george zimmerman listened to that. what did you see as he listened? >> well, this was the only time during the testimony where we see him in pain. again, it's microfacial response. when he's listening to his father's voice, he brings his head down, he scrunches his face together as if he's been struck. as if he's been hit when he hears his father testify. you can tell in this particular case, again, only time during the testimony he's in great pain. >> i wanted to say because that's sort of -- a layperson, me, sees in this, sort of pain >> i wanted to say because
that's sort of -- a layperson, me, sees in this, sort of pain and sadness. a lot of times you watch -- i remember looking at the casey anthony, just a lack of response. these faces of people who are in court where there's absolutely no reaction at all. you see a human being here. >> yes. in this case. yes. and note under stress the first response to stress is freezing in place. we call it deer in the headlights. we freeze to figure out what to do next. >> thank you, i appreciate your time. well, george zimmerman as we said got the money for bail, so it was $150,000, which means he had to come up with $15,000, and apparently he has. we're going to talk to one of his friends who knows where he got that money. and thousands protest military rule in egypt. egypt still very much in crisis, significant issue for this country. we'll be back. [ male announcer ] this is the land of giants.
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we're back with our outer circle where where we reach out to our sources around the world on this friday. first to egypt where a familiar scene unfortunately unfolded in cairo today. thousands gathering this time to protest against the military rule. it's just a month before the first presidential election since the revolution. ian lee is in cairo and i asked him what the protesters want this time. >> reporter: erin, today was an important day in egypt. the protests in tahrir square made for strange bedfellows.
this is the first time we've seen the muslim brotherhood and liberal groups join forces since the revolution. they directed their anger toward the ruling supreme council of the armed forces. while there was a common vote, there really wasn't a common theme. liberals are angry over what they perceive as meddling in the writing of the constitution and overall rule. the muslim brotherhood and islamists are angry over the exclusion of their candidates in next month's presidential election where political analysts say has now become a true horse race between former secretary general there and former member of the muslim brotherhood who is perceived as a moderate. erin? >> thanks to ian lee in cairo. officials say there are no survivors after a plane crashed today more than 100 people were onboard crashed five miles from the airport in islamabad. i asked the reporter there why this plane crashed.
>> reporter: erin, aviation officials say severe thunderstorms could have been a factor in this plane going down. they say they're not going to reach conclusions until they complete their investigation. more than 120 people onboard this boeing 737. all of them feared dead. the plane taking off from cara chi, crash landing roughly five miles outside of the airport here in islamabad throughout the night. the grim recovery efforts, showing mangled and twisted debris as well as personal belongings like cell phones and passports. another twist to the tragedy, this aircraft belonged to boja airlines, a company that went out of business in 2001. recently restarted operations, its website says its inaugural flight from karachi to islamabad would be april 20th. of course, today is april 20th. erin? >> all right. well, a judge's decision to let 28-year-old george zimmerman out of jail until his second-degree murder trial was welcome news to his friends and family, including frank taaffe, who told us before the show what
it was like to see zimmerman for the first time since his arrest. he was there at the bond hearing. >> george looked pretty tired. he looked like he'd been through a hell of an ordeal. but he looked like he's going to persevere and forge ahead with a positive attitude. to know that he's innocent just like i know he's innocent. and everything is coming to fruition now. we're having a lot of neighbors come forward with photos and sharing their stories with me as to the proclamation of his innocence. i sat behind the martin family today. >> yes. >> i was two rows behind them. and i was observing them when george was delivering his sympathy or his condolences to the family. and i felt that george was being very sympathetic, and he was
being very sincere, contrary to what the other team wants to believe. >> and let me just interrupt you there because i want to ask you a question about that. trayvon martin's family said that, you know, george zimmerman had what? more than 50 days he could've said i am so sorry, i feel -- i'm broken hearted about what happened but he didn't do so. they say it appears -- it's all motivated by a desire -- >> no, erin, it was sincere. he stated to the prosecutor he was told to have no communication with the family and he abided by the wishes of his past counsel and his present counsel up until today. you know, he emoted his sympathy and condolences in a very sincere and concise manner. >> now, frank, he's going to be released on$150,000 bond and he has to put $15,000 up for that.
do you have any idea where he'll get that money from where? >> i believe the monies have already been collected. >> do you know from whom? >> well, you know, we have the websites that were set up. i personally set up one for him several weeks ago. it was justicegeorge.com. and then when george called me prior to his arrest, he started the real george zimmerman.com website. what we have done -- so there's no dilution is that i got together with the webmaster, his webmaster, and we conjoined both of them together where they're both linked up and whatever donations that i had collected up to that point were going to be funneled and channelled into his main website. so collectively, we're continuing the donation process.
as for the exact amount today, i cannot tell you because i relinquished all of my responsibilities in that website to george's webmaster. >> how much did you have from your justiceforgeorge.com when you handed it over? >> it was between $300 and $600 that i had taken into account prior to him setting his up, and of course mine was, you know, bare bones and it really didn't have the thrust as this new one that george started. >> but your understanding is that combining the two that he'd have enough for the bail? >> i would -- this is just me talking, i do believe that they have the monies collected right now. >> and are you concerned for his safety when he goes out on bail? obviously i know he's got to check in every few days. his wife has to vouch for him and his parents too. do you know where he'd go to be
safe? >> no, i don't know where he'll go to be safe. i know where he won't be, twin lakes. we can be assured of that. not to make folly of the situation on a serious note, yes, i'm concerned for his safety. but, you know, we can't live our lives under a rock all the time. >> all right. frank, thanks very much. good to talk to you, sir. >> thank you. glad to be here. and now, a story. 1983, mitt romney and his family drove 12 hours from boston to ontario, canada, with their dog sheamus in a carrier on top of the car. you have probably heard this story, right? in the past, this would have been a blip on the political radar, but politics aren't what they used to be. it's sad that we're looking at the way they used to be. this is a big issue for this campaign. the democrats held up the story as an example of how cold and uncaring mitt romney really is.
so the republicans dug up the story and president obama's own book about the time he ate dog meat as a 6-year-old living in indonesia. okay. the press got ahold of the two stories and declared the doggie wars. seriously. doggie wars which led to a group of democratic senators trying to add a romney amendment to the serious pet merchant bill. and senator john mccain making a joke about the president yesterday. i never went on a road trip with a dog on my roof or eaten a dog, i used to get on the floor and played a cat. i would hate to think if i ever ran for public office given all the serious things i would hope we'd be talking about that my experimentation with meow mix -- which by the way, it wasn't bad. i still remember the taste. would become the issue of the campaign. seriously. still outfront, i'm going on a trip next week. i'll tell you about it.
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